Thanks to Sol Salbe for translating the following Haaretz article (to which I made minor editorial and spelling changes), which offers quotations from Vichy era anti-Semitic rants by French collaborators with the Nazis. It’s important to note the similarities in tone, image and sentiment between then and now. Now being the racist rants of Israeli politicians like MKs Miri Regev, Eli Yishai (Interior Minister), Michael Ben Ari, Danny Danon and others calling the African refugees a “cancer” in Israel’s body (after which she apologized to Israeli cancer patients!).
In reading below it’s also important to note that these very Israeli racist demagogues have proposed creating concentration camps in which the Africans would be incarcerated. Vichy France did something similar to its Jews, though they ended up being transferred to extermination camps and killed. A fate that will never befall Israel’s Africans. They could, however, be expelled back into the Sinai wilderness only to wander there for forty years like Moses and the Israelites till they find a way back to the hell holes they escaped in Eritrea, South Sudan and Somalia.
Dear Mr Interior Minister
May 30 2012
Dear Interior Minister Eli Yishai, Miri Regev MK, Danny Danon MK , Michael Ben-Ari MK and their fellow travelers:
Here are some well-tested historical proposals for your quest to deal with the impoverished black-skinned men, women and children and the residents of poorer neighbourhoods who are both trying to survive in our flourishing country:
“What kind of court would really condemn us had we denounced the astonishing invasion of Paris and France by apes? It is impossible not to know that the apes had settled years ago in certain regions, and even in some zoos. Today you can see them everywhere… It must be noted that a rather strong anti-Ape sentiment has developed among the public. You go to the theater? The hall is brimming with apes. They hang from every corner, in the stands, in the wings. On the bus, in the Metro? Apes. I park myself innocently in a cafe? On my left and on my right, two or three apes occupy a place. Their ability to imitate human behavior means that sometimes it is not possible to immediately identify them…. That thing called anti-Semitism (read on, please) is becoming more of an essential requirement by the day!” (Robert Brasillach).
“For the sake of our life, for the preservation of our country, we must remove the Jewish gangrene without delay. We will purify ourselves from the parasite in the same that we get rid of the worst kind of fleas and rats” (Jacques Dorsor).
“Wherever they come they bring the notion of…clandestine activity, deceit and corruption. And they are a constant threat to the spirit of accuracy, fairness and striving for perfection used to characterize the French craftsperson. This is a swarm of savages who ensure that they are deprived of their national rights. This enables them to withstand the trials and tribulations of expulsions. Their precarious physical condition brings them by the thousands to our hospitals, and they fill them to capacity… The migrant who had arrived at East Station at 11am, may well be running a shop on the boulevard Sebastopol by the afternoon selling goods and furs as if he were a French trader. Those who come are those who have chosen our country, not because it is France, but because it is the only place left to speculation and dodgy businesses. We find them crawling over all the branch of art and industry. And they multiply like fleas on a newborn puppy. It is beyond my comprehension how hundreds of thousands of Ashkenazi Jews fled the ghettos of Poland and Romania, managing to infiltrate our country. All of these migrants, accustomed to live at the edge of society circumventing the country’s laws. They bring with them a lack of adherence, illegal activity, fraud and corruption” (Jean Giraudoux).
Paris got rid of many Jewish migrants: they were sent to concentration camps.
“Acting under a law established by the French government on 4 October 1940, under which foreign-born Jews would be placed in concentration camps, French police conducted a mass hunt of about 5,000 Jewish migrants aged 18-40, mostly from Poland, Czechoslovakia and Austria. During the bleak times of August-September 1939, those same stateless persons had cheered the mass exodus of millions of French people from their homes following the insane war for the Jews. It would be only fair and proper that yesterday’s cleansing started with them” (a daily newspaper report in Paris, May 18, 1941).
Reuven Miran is a writer, translator and publisher
Translated by Sol Salbe of the Middle East News Service